What Does Contemporary Art Represent?

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The term ‘contemporary’ in the notion ‘Contemporary Art’ might be a bit ambiguous while referring to art, since in vernacular English it attributes to something that has happened in one’s lifetime. But in relation to art, it is something else in its entirety. Though the jury is still out there, nonetheless I must attempt to simplify the term and help our readers to arrive at a consensual agreement. To understand contemporary art, we must revisit the golden pages of modern art history. Modern art is more of a time frame than an actual style of art.

The era of modern art begins during the mid-nineteenth century till the late twentieth century. All the forms of art developed and improvised during this period can be ordered into this category including abstract art, pictorialism, expressionism and much more. While post-modern art is those that arose as a reaction or rejection to the art movements of modernism. It encompasses the art movements after, but not always the 1970s. It is quite significant because it embraces technology into the sensuous domain of art. It also takes into account the realm of performing arts and many other avant-garde radical art movements.

Now after the 101 introductions we must dive deeper into what is generally acknowledged as contemporary art. The term contemporary art is a khichdi (an amalgam) of different concepts, themes, subject material, and method. The time frame of contemporary art sources also overlaps quite often though it engulfs both the modernism and the postmodernist era. It does not necessarily conform to a laid down set of principles or a single point of view instead it is a kaleidoscope of diverse styles, concepts, and methods. It does not differentiate between radicalism, liberalism or conservatism. It is the perfect embodiment of the postmodern school of thoughts where complexity and confusion are respected rather than sticking to a particular order, system or norm.

Contemporary art as a whole is a pretty vast territory to traverse, therefore to depict examples a comparatively meager niche of contemporary Indian art is well enough. The top pinnacle of Indian painters is summited by the likes of M.F. Hussain, Vasudeo Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta and Amrita Shergill.

Other contemporary artists worth noting are Anish Kapoor and his advent into postminimalist sculpture, Devajyoti Ray, and his pseudorealism. In the field of architecture, the Lotus Temple in Delhi is one prominent feature. Contemporary art also includes the fashion industry which has seen an active involvement of women and events appreciating the fusion of Indian and western trends.